Kolbe Kaartdjiin Boodja (Kolbe Learning Ground)
Kolbe Catholic College acknowledges the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional custodians of the land our College sits on. We pay our respect to elders past and present, and to all our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who have been on the Kolbe journey with us.
Aboriginal students at Kolbe
At Kolbe, we are committed to providing opportunities for all Aboriginal students in Years 7 to 12 to achieve outstanding educational outcomes. The College offers an annual scholarship to work with and assist families in giving broad career opportunities to young Aboriginal people.
To support Aboriginal students in the classroom and beyond, the College offers After School Tutoring and a Homework Club. Students from all year levels have access to afternoon tea, as well as a supervised classroom environment for study and homework completion with support from visiting teachers.
As we have been rewarded with numerous Awards of Excellence in Catholic Aboriginal Education, we actively encourage Aboriginal families wanting a Catholic education for their children in the Rockingham and Kwinana District to consider Kolbe Catholic College.
To support Indigenous students in the classroom and beyond, and to establish strong connections with the Aboriginal community, the College employs Aboriginal Liaison Education Assistant and proud Noongar woman, Mrs Lisa Dann. Mrs Dann builds and maintains strong working partnerships with students, staff, parents and the wider community by focusing on student achievement, wellbeing, safety and resilience.
“I feel blessed to have journeyed with so many students from all walks of life, including all four of my children who attended Kolbe Catholic College. My mum is my inspiration, being a child of the Stolen Generation, and by sharing her story she has supported me in helping to educate our community and allowed me to be part of the healing process.”
Cultural Awareness at Kolbe
Supported by the Indigenous Education Team at Catholic Education WA, we strive to create opportunities for cultural awareness in the College and beyond. We start each new year with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony delivered by the traditional custodians of the land, and an Indigenous Camp is held at the beginning of each year for students to connect with each other and build friendships. Students also participate in various high school reach out programs such as UWA Year 8 Discovery Day, Murdoch University Deadly Dreaming Day, and Walyalup Day at Notre Dame University.
Staff are given the opportunity to attend an Indigenous Retreat to learn more about Aboriginal history, traditions and life. We have many beautiful Aboriginal artworks on display around the College and our Aboriginal Kolbe banner with Noongar language sits alongside the main Kolbe Banner in the Sports Hall.
Our Indigenous families get together twice a year for Kolbe’s Indigenous Family Nights, which are all about having fun and strengthening our relationships. We also have a regular Meet & Greet Cuppa and a community morning tea to thank everyone for their support throughout the year. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week and Sorry Day are opportunities to learn more about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. As part of these events, our beautiful Kolbe moort (family) comes together to decorate a tree, and each Pastoral Care group adds hearts with thoughtful messages on them.
To keep the conversation going, a yarning mat and Kolbe’s famous yarning bears are spread out under a tree to give students and staff the opportunity to yarn about the past, present and future. In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, yarning circles encourage respectful and honest interactions that build trusting relationships. This custom has been embraced at our College to ensure that inclusivity and acceptance remain valued within our community.
Each year our College community celebrates NAIDOC Week, during which a number of meaningful activities are planned. Students and staff enjoy celebrating our Indigenous students and their culture, and it is always wonderful to see our staff in their NAIDOC shirts. The artwork on these shirts, designed by local Indigenous artists Cheryl and Biara Martin, display the College community’s connection to the Noongar history and culture of the Rockingham area.